Jennifer J C Thompson nee Coetzee Many years ago I had the following interesting experience with the completion of my graduate year in Social Sciences.While conducting a survey/interview with grade R/Sub A learners: the field of focus : life and the definition of life (What is alive)responses ranged a) vehicle lights are alive (with reference to 'warmth' and 'sight') b) the road is alive (reference to 'warmth') c) plants are alive (ref. growth) d) humans are alive: all understood by the learners as ' being alive by similar categories of definition.'

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It is always interesting to explore and probe into the grey area that exists just beneath the surface of our assumptions.

At first, we may each think we know what is alive and what is not alive and exactly where the line is, but given a few prompts like you gave to your subjects, we quickly see that our assumptions only covered a much larger and somewhat troubling "unknown".

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That is interesting. Did you give them th criteria of being warm as being alive? I would not think most students would come up with that distinction on their own. I actually never really thought about it that way. What other criteria could be used? Moving?
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